KAUST Seed Fund winner develops app for Alzheimer’s sufferers
Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat – Responding to the suffering of her grandmother, Rawad Sheikh entered the world of innovation, winning the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology [KAUST] Seed Fund award. This competition grants the winner $250,000 to develop their project, granting them the opportunity to present and promote this in front of KAUST and the Investment Committee.
Rawad’s winning project is an iPhone and iPad App for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers named the “Grandma, Grandpa Book” App. She revealed that she got the idea for this app from watching the suffering of her grandmother – an Alzheimer’s patient – and her essential need for a caregiver, so she therefore decided to create an app for the elderly and sufferers of Alzheimer’s, and their caregivers. This app includes a comprehensive social network which will allow the user to regulate their daily activity, connect with their colleagues and friends, as well as get in touch with groups and organizations that share their interests.
Rawad also revealed that this app contains comprehensive information and tools to help those who are seeking to provide long-term care, including a set of diverse features and functions, multimedia features, and easy to use icons. The “Grandma, Grandpa Book” App also includes a chronological photo album, which will allow caregivers to upload photos and store them sequentially in order to help patients recall when pictures were taken.
The app also includes a timetable for when medicines should be taken, memory boosting games, a multimedia player where favorite songs and home movies can be stored and played, in addition to a “caregiver’s lounge” where Alzheimer’s caregivers can connect with one another and share advice and experience. The app also provides opportunities for volunteers who want to get involved in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
The “Grandma, Grandpa Book” App also aims to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s by allowing the user to keep in touch with the proposals put forward by Alzheimer’s associations. This will also allow caregivers and loved ones to find support and answers to their questions.
This app will provide Alzheimer’s caregivers with the knowledge they require, and will include useful resources and daily tips. It will also allow Alzheimer’s caregivers to contact one another and exchange advice and support.
Rawad said “the app aims to aid caregivers in helping their loved ones who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, helping them to improve the quality of life of both Alzheimer’s sufferers and their caregivers, putting a smile on their face and reducing the physical and emotional stress that they suffer from. This app will allow them to share their stories, because nobody should face Alzheimer’s disease alone.”
According to Rawad, this app will serve as a source of inspiration and hope for all Alzheimer’s caregivers, providing them with the opportunity to get acquainted with and support one another.
Before joining KAUST, Rawad received professional training in 2009 at the civil economic “Emaar” company, in the project management department. This provided her with the ability to identify clear goals and manage projects. She utilized the knowledge and expertise she gained from her studies in managing information systems to develop and implement many excellent projects including health care, security and housing projects. She was a member of KAUST’s founding class of 2009, graduating with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science.
She said “KAUST is a university for the 21st century; it allows young businesspeople to form and transform their innovative ideas in the field of technology into products…which can benefit the entire world. KAUST gave me the opportunity to make a difference and to be a champion in the fight against Alzheimer’s.”